Astle mop up tail as New Zealand thump England in opener

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AUCKLAND, Recalled leg-spinner Todd Astle captured two wickets in the final session as New Zealand recorded an innings and 49-run victory over England in a day-night test at Eden Park to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Astle, who was recalled to replace the injured Mitchell Santner, had Craig Overton trapped in front before he ended the test when Jimmy Anderson was caught by Trent Boult at mid-off to give New Zealand just their 10th test victory over England.

Paceman Neil Wagner’s short-pitched tactics proved effective again as he dismissed both Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, who had each scored defiant half-centuries and threatened to save the match for the visitors.

Wagner finished with 3-77, while Boult, who took 6-32 in the first innings, took 3-67. Astle finished with 3-39.

“It was a fantastic performance from us. If we go back to that first innings, we bowled great lengths and also got lucky to find the edges,” New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said.

“They fought really hard but it was great we were able to fight the pressure and come through.”

New Zealand would have felt aggrieved if the match ended in a draw after they destroyed England in the first innings, bowling them out for a record low of 58 against the Black Caps inside 90 minutes on the first day.

Persistent rain, however, washed out virtually two days of play, with England bowling just 23.1 overs on the second day and 17 deliveries on the third.

The final day had been eerily similar to a match from five years ago when New Zealand were well placed to win the third test against England at the same ground.


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